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Thread: Any ideas . . .

  1. #1
    beachgirl444's Avatar
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    Krissy

    Any ideas . . .

    I bought some Hydrangea today beacuse I'm so ready for spring! Anyway, I took some pictures in the direct sunlight and they just don't look right. They don't really look as crisp as I'd like and the lighting seems to be too much. My settings were F3.5 - 1/250 - ISO 200. I'm not sure if those are the correct settings for close ups in direct sunlight. Still learning!! Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Any ideas . . .

    Any ideas . . .

    Any ideas . . .

    Any ideas . . .

  2. #2

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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    There are some lovely pastel shades in these pictures, Krissy. The focus does seem a little soft, though I don't think there are 'correct' settings, just those that work in a particular situation. I would play around with them: for example, if it is bright sunlight, drop the ISO as low as possible to get more saturation. See what works best for you.

  3. #3

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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Firstly, Krissy, are the colours correct? Hydrangeas come in many colour forms. Shooting in direct sunlight can produce incorrect colours and exposure problems.

    Correct exposure often involves a bit of exposure compensation, or spot metering to locate the brightest areas, then using manual camera settings based on those readings.

    Was your focus on the correct parts of the flower? Did you manually focus or use auto focus? If auto focus, was the camera focusing exactly where you intended? Did you use a tripod?

    What are your available aperture settings with that camera? F4 is rather shallow focus for many lenses, but I know that some cameras are restricted in what is available.

    What have you done in the way of editing, particularly brightness and sharpness adjustments?

    The last image really looks like a hydrangea. The focus seems reasonably sharp where it is focused but the depth of focus is somewhat limited so some parts, closer to the camera, are out of focus.

    This is a common problem unless you take a series of shots at different focus distances then combine the images. But this does require suitable lenses and editing software.

  4. #4
    beachgirl444's Avatar
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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Hi Geoff, I'll answer you questions the best I can:

    *I was manually focusing with no tripod.

    *My camera aperture settings go from F2.8-F8.0, but I'm still trying to figure out which settings to use! What would you suggest?

    *I have a really standard editing program. Nothing fancy at all ~ It allows me to adjust the brightness, contrast & saturation as well as trimming the image. I purchased Photo Ultimate 11, but I'm having trouble uploading it - grrrrr! For these shots I made them a little less bright. No sharpening done.

    Thank you for your help!
    Krissy

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    I'd say trying closing down the aperture to f/5.6. That might help get the lens a little sharper and will also give you more depth of field. And if you have a tripod, deal with the slower shutter speed you'll get from stopping down the aperture by using the tripod and timer.

    As for editing--have you considered the Gimp (kind of an open source Photoshop) or Photivo or RawTherapee (kind of like open source Lightrooms)? All of them are free, and are more sophisticated editors than entry-level processing packages like iPhoto or Picasa. To me, Curves adjustment is generally what distinguishes the more "advanced" processing packages.

  6. #6
    beachgirl444's Avatar
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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Okay, I changed the aperture to f/5.6 and unfortunately I don't have a tripod (but I'll be getting one soon!). I can see a little difference in the color.

    Any ideas . . .

    Any ideas . . .

  7. #7

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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Those look OK to me.

    Everything Kathy said is good advice.

  8. #8
    Cogito's Avatar
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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Krissy, my first suggestion would be to set the date/time in your camera! According to the EXIF data these were all shot in 2007! Secondly, if you are unhappy with the editor that came with the camera, try RawTherapee or Faststone. Both are free but both have a learning curve..... You can download both and play about with them!
    As far as your posted images is concerned, I can't see much wrong with them. Sure, exposure colour and sharpening could be adjusted but only to what looks best to you. The only camera adjustment that you need to make is to the aperture - to modify what's in focus.

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Any ideas . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by beachgirl444 View Post
    Okay, I changed the aperture to f/5.6 ....
    Um. Actually, you didn't. The EXIF information says the first one was shot at f/4, and the second one at f/4.5. Are you sure you were in Av mode?

    As for the colors, the Canon Powershot A650IS has some in-camera presets you can mess with in the "My Colors" settings [pg. 114 of the manual]. Using "Vivid" will give you added saturation if that's what you wanted--might not look completely natural, though.

    And if you want to go really nuts, you could load up the CHDK for the A650IS, and shoot in RAW to play more with post-processing. The A650IS is a super-capable camera; pretty much sharing a lens/processor/sensor with the G9, and having the full PSAM modes as well as a flippy screen. Its only real drawback was its inability to shoot RAW.

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